The Poetry Corner

A Career

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

"Break me my bounds, and let me fly To regions vast of boundless sky; Nor I, like piteous Daphne, be Root-bound. Ah, no! I would be free As yon same bird that in its flight Outstrips the range of mortal sight; Free as the mountain streams that gush From bubbling springs, and downward rush Across the serrate mountain's side,-- The rocks o'erwhelmed, their banks defied,-- And like the passions in the soul, Swell into torrents as they roll. Oh, circumscribe me not by rules That serve to lead the minds of fools! But give me pow'r to work my will, And at my deeds the world shall thrill. My words shall rouse the slumb'ring zest That hardly stirs in manhood's breast; And as the sun feeds lesser lights, As planets have their satellites, So round about me will I bind The men who prize a master mind!" He lived a silent life alone, And laid him down when it was done; And at his head was placed a stone On which was carved a name unknown!